Göreme, is a historical town in Cappadocia, Turkey. Famous for its unique rock formations and daily hot air balloon flights during sunrise.
Göreme National Park is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to it’s natural unique landscape, rich history and culture that needs to be protected from damage and unsustainable development.
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1. Stay in a Cave Suite
There’s no better way to have a complete unique experience in Cappadocia than staying in a cave hotel/suite. It gives you a feeling of how people are living in this region in cave dwellings for centuries.
I stayed in Sultan Cave Suites during my 3 days stay in Göreme and the place is simply fantastic! Staying in a cave suite gives a cave living experience in modern-day luxury. The rooms were built over the ancient cave dwellings, all the original cave walls have been preserved and the interior design matches the structure. The view from its roof deck is beautiful where you can catch the sunrise, a popular spot for photography and Instagram.
Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Cappadocia.
2. Take a Balloon Flight
The first balloon flew in the skies of the Cappadocia 20 years ago. Now, over a hundred balloons are flying daily (subject to weather condition) early in the morning as the sun rises. This is the highlight of any trip to Cappadocia. There’s no better way to see the mesmerizing view of Cappadocia’s unique and beautiful landscape than a balloon flight.
Once you booked your flight, the company will arrange everything for you on the morning of your flight. You will be picked up early at dawn from your hotel and you’ll have breakfast at the assembly area where you will be given the name of the captain of your flight. After short breakfast, they will take you to the departure point. There’s a short briefing and safety measures so pay attention. Our flight with Butterfly Balloons took an hour and 15 minutes, landing was very smooth. The journey ends with a glass of champagne, a toss of celebration for the successful flight.
3. Have a Pottery Kebab
Kebab is among the famous turkish dishes but only in Cappadocia you’ll get to taste a kebab with a twist. Testi Kebab or Pottery Kebab is similar to a stew, with tomatoes, vegetables, chillies and meat (lamb, beef or chicken) slowly cooked in a pot. When it’s served, the seal needs to broken and once cracked with a hammer the hot colorful broth will flow out of the pot on your plate and the top of the part of the pot will be removed. Enjoy while it’s hot!
4. Visit the Open Air Museum
Open air museum is about 15 minutes walk from the town center of Göreme. This place is commonly the first stop on anyone’s itinerary in Cappadocia. It consists of 7 churches and cave dwellings which are residence of Byzantine Christians refugees centuries back. Among these churches, Karanlık Kilise or the Dark Church is the best preserved. The mosaics inside describing scenes from the new testament are fine examples of centuries old Byzantine art.
5. See the Fairy Chimneys
These remarkable rock formations is what makes most of Cappadocia’s unique landscape. Caused by nature’s own destructive force such as volcanic eruptions, strong winds and erosion, these magical landscape is bringing in thousands of tourists around the world to Cappadocia.
6. Devrent (Imagination) Valley
These valley has several unique rock formations that look like sculptures made by nature. Several of the formations look like different animals. Below in the picture are formations that look like a camel and snail.
7. Catch the Sunset
The unique landscape in Göreme turns vibrant as the sun sets and darkness cover the skies. It’s amazing to see the town from the sunset spot as the darkness slowly covers the sky, the lights from the hotels, streets and caves are illuminating the whole town.
About the Writer
Jaypee Licudan is a Filipino Expat based in Singapore. He’s a traveller and writer for Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog and has been to over 30 countries across 4 continents. He’s major long term goal is to go back to the Philippines for a long time travel to discover the hidden gems of his home country. Follow his personal blog: The Rustic Nomad